Berlin Germany, October 13-15
I first visited Germany and Czechoslovakia in 1991, twenty-six years ago and have been coming nearly every year since then. This year Rita and I traveled again, flying first to Prague, arriving on the morning of October 11 with Jim and Joanne Cassell. It was nice to have a day and a half to rest and try to recover from jet-lag before our drive to Berlin with Eva and her daughter, Veronica. We had six passengers and a totally loaded van (including food for cooking), since Eva had volunteered to cook the meals (with the help of Oliver and others) for the conference, and Jim was our “professional” driver. We traveled with two other cars and had a GPS backup so the trip went quite smoothly. Most of the travelers stayed at the nearby Bongard Hotel, where we had a good breakfast.
Our first meeting on Friday night was opened by Brother Burt where he challenged us by the higher expectations that God has for us, “God is raising the bar”. I spoke first on Saturday morning on the “Mystery of Iniquity”. After this meeting we had prayer for Sister Hannelore for her healing. Brother Guido also shared a testimony of how God revealed His healing power to his mother. Brother Barak spoke in the afternoon on the ways God is changing us to be made fit for His spiritual house. In the evening, Brother Martin spoke on the role of the “Barren Woman Church”, giving examples of barren women in the bible who brought forth mighty sons of God. At the Sunday morning meeting Brother Burt challenged by a word, “Why halt ye between two opinions?”
This conference also had attendees from the United Kingdom, Czech and several American states. After the meeting, we all helped clean up the kitchen and pack up the vehicles for the nearly 4 hour drive back to Tursko, arriving at just after sunset. Both the Cassells and us shared adjoining rooms at Radek’s house and the Asbills were on the top floor of the same building. We all shared meals with Radek and Gabcha’s family at a great long table and the best food one could ever ask for. Now there was to be a week of relaxing in preparation for the Czech conference the following week. There was a midweek meeting and I was asked to share; I spoke on the seven lamps and seven stars from Revelation 1:12-20. It was a good week of much blessed fellowship with the brethren.
Czech Kraskov Conference – October 22-29
The following Sunday morning (October 22), it was again time to pack up the vehicles and drive to Kraskov, only about 2 hours away. We had last met here about 12 years ago and we found a hotel/conference center that has since been totally renovated into a very modern facility. Our big disappointment was those few brethren who had to cancel their reservations because of last minute health issues or the failure to obtain a visa on time. However, this was to be a truly international conference with visitors from Germany, UK, Sierra Leone (currently in Mali and DR Congo), Nigeria, Uganda, the Philippines and five of the United States. We are so appreciative of the good spirit of praise and worship at each meeting of the conference.
There were two meetings each day with various activities mid day. Brother Burt opened the meeting Sunday night with a bit of personal ministry. He spoke again Monday evening, Tuesday morning on the commitment to go all the way; Wednesday evening on God’s marriage covenant; and Saturday night on Malignant Darkness.
I spoke Monday morning on “Who Are the Elect?”; Wednesday morning on the Marriage Covenant and Saturday morning on the “Fullness of Times”. Brother Martin spoke Tuesday evening on “Change Your Doctrine” and again on Friday morning on the basic principles of raising sons (of God), followed by an afternoon of Q & A on parenting issues.
Other speakers on Thursday included Brother Mark G. on the practicality of God in our daily lives and Brother Iyke on those who “Stopped the Mouth of Lions”. Brother Ronald shared Friday evening on understanding the purpose of God, referring to the parable of the soils (Matthew 13). We were also glad to hear from Brother Val on Saturday evening speaking from his own experience as a lawyer of the consequences of sin.
One of the highlights of the conference was the “Benefit Concert for the Philippines” that was presented by all of the children and youth on Monday afternoon. This was truly a special presentation by the young ones of various age groups with quality singing and instrumental accompaniment. Even the very small ones had something to give. Sister Pavlina read a greeting from Brother George, who had to cancel travel with us due to last minute health issues. Most of us paid for our tickets (donation) and we are told that over $800 (USD) was raised to benefit the Kingdom Message Ministry School in Butuan City, Philippines.
On Sunday morning, I came down to the reception desk and checked out early, paying with a credit card, while Rita finished packing. We had been having a very strong wind over night and a few minutes later the power to the hotel went out. We had breakfast by candlelight, but when the others came to check out they were unable to do so because of the lack of electricity. Needless to say, it created a lot of confusion. But finally, arrangements were made for the local “Prague” fellowship (I believe there are four in the Czech Republic) to pay later. When we returned to the Prague area, we found that the power was also out to most of the region (with a few exceptions). It seems that there had been hurricane like winds over a wide swath of Europe and some people had died from falling trees. So, we spent the evening and night at Radek’s place by the fireplace and lighted by candles. We could not help but think of the soon coming great tribulation and how we must be prepared for it. This event is one more of God’s warning calls to us to be prepared and come into the secret place of the Most High. Fortunately the airport was fully powered and we were able to depart as scheduled at 6:00 AM. When we arrived home we learned that there had also been a strong wind storm in New York with power outages in some of the neighboring counties, but not our home. We are glad to be home and we are so appreciative of those who have supported us by prayer.
Mark and Rita Jantzi
Now, if I may divert just a bit to present a photograph that has blessed me so very much. It is a photo of some of the Czech children that was taken about 12 years ago (2005).
Most of these families and young people are still with the fellowship, so I asked if we could take another photo at the conference of some of the same ones. This new photo has them arranged in the same order of age (23 to 15 from left to right). Seven of the original children are missing in this new photo and we have added a new youngest sister on the right end. Can you recognize them? Little children are very sweet and cute and growing up certainly does bring about some nice changes.
God bless you.